Management of chronic functional constipation in childhood.


Chronic functional constipation is a common problem in childhood, with soiling a significant issue. The morbidity is high and the treatment is complex. There is a very poor evidence base for the drug treatments used and there are considerable differences in practice in different units. The key to successful management is early diagnosis and prompt treatment with an emphasis on holistic care with multidisciplinary support where needed. For example, the practical approach in our unit at the Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, England emphasizes the non-drug aspects including patient education and behavioral modification and uses stimulant laxatives, usually in a high dose as first-line therapy. There is an urgent need for prospective comparative studies to investigate different treatment regimens and for longitudinal studies to examine the long-term outcome of chronic constipation and the factors that determine it. The lack of a significant evidence base for the use of the most widely used agents proves a significant challenge in the production of evidence-based guidelines and highlights the paucity of data for most of the widely used treatments for childhood constipation.

Cite this paper

@article{Plunkett2007ManagementOC, title={Management of chronic functional constipation in childhood.}, author={Adrian Plunkett and Claire P Phillips and Robert Mark Beattie}, journal={Paediatric drugs}, year={2007}, volume={9 1}, pages={33-46} }